Daytona Twins: GM teams race two quotes

BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "I don't know. I haven't looked at the car yet. I want to say what happened until I know for a fact. And I haven't got a chance to look at it yet. But we had the same problem in the Shootout and ...

BRIAN VICKERS, NO. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "I don't know. I haven't looked at the car yet. I want to say what happened until I know for a fact. And I haven't got a chance to look at it yet. But we had the same problem in the Shootout and we've got to figure out what it is. It's going to hurt us but I'm sure this GMAC Chevrolet will be back. We've got a lot of good guys on this team and we're looking forward to Sunday."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: "We were just going along and he (No. 29, Kevin Harvick) pulls his head off his shoulders and starts bump drafting in the center of the turn. I guess all those years of watching TV like he said he did, he didn't watch much of it to realize you're not supposed to bump draft in the middle of the turn. It's a shame. He just tore up six or seven good race cars. I hope that Childress either fires him or does something about him or the NASCAR does something about him because this is ridiculous - absolutely ridiculous.

"It's pretty simple. The #29 was a total idiot and came down from the center of the turn. I'm just thankful our car wasn't destroyed. Luckily it's not in that bad of shape. It's just the way it is, you have to realize who you're racing. You'd think that up front you'd be in safe hands but you can't put your guard down around the #29."

JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO "He's just drives stupid. He'll get it back. It was totally uncalled for what happened out there. Everybody is racing and he's trying to turn people around in the middle of the corner. It's ridiculous."

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CALRO: "I just got to him and he checked up and I got to him and I couldn't get off of him. I just spun him out and I feel sorry for the teams and everybody involved. It's not something where you want to bump draft in the middle of the corner. But, I hate it for all these GM Goodwrench guys. But, I just got to him and he slowed down and got sideways and I got the back of him."


"I feel like I belonged out there - I didn't make any enemies and didn't wreck anybody. It was the first time in those conditions - the car was better than where I finished. Once in a while I got into a suspect situation and when that happened I took the cautious route and went backwards. I went into the race thinking it was a practice session - I needed to learn. But this wasn't anything like practice - the guys were a lot nuttier in a race. It was a blast and the car is in one piece. The team did a great job and I think I met every expectation and earned respect. Finishing 10th here is like finishing 20th on Sunday and that's my goal to be in the top 20."

Note: Said finished 10th, the same position he finished the last time he raced a Cup car here -- at the 2004 Bud Shootout.

JEFF BURTON, NO 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVROLET MOTE CARLO - Finished 2nd "I was right where I wanted to be. The problem was that Tony had a teammate behind me. Part of the deal down here isn't so much having the guy behind you who wants to pass you, but he's not on the offensive. So, Tony could do things with his car that he wouldn't have been able to do if there wasn't another car behind him that wanted to pass him. Bobby stuck with him and he got such a run on me in the front straightaway. I blocked him pretty hard but I couldn't get him slowed down. When he did pull beside me, the line went with him. But you know, I thought I drove a good race. I put myself in a position to win and I'm proud of that. We were running second before the caution there. Before the pits, the #48 got really slow and I about ran over top of him. The #29 got by me and that kind of messed with our pit stop a little bit. We came out fourth and got lucky to miss that wreck. But, a good day. I'm proud of our pit stop and how the way we ran and I'm really proud of the way our car drives. We're wide open every lap. That feels really good."

(DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE KEVIN HARVICK'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY?) Oh, not at all. Kevin is a great race car driver. He's really fired up about this year. He thinks he's got a great chance to win a lot of races. I can help Kevin in some areas and he can help me in some areas. I don't think that Kevin is a guy that's aggressive.

"He wants to win in the worst way. And because of that, sometimes he gets himself in some positions he may wish he hadn't have gotten in. But, he got there for the right reason. I have the utmost respect for Kevin. Kevin's been the perfect teammate. He has been unbelievable as far as working with me, working with Dave. I will defend Dave and I will defend Kevin because he's a racer. And he wants to do the right thing and he wants to win. And like all of us, he doesn't always do the right thing, not because he doesn't want to. But he's trying hard and he's racing and I will defend him. But I think he defends himself just fine."

(WHOM DO YOU BLAME FOR THE ACCIDENT DURING THE RACE?) "Well, you've got to understand that I'm running fourth when that happened. The #48 got up the race track a little bit and I saw the #29 under him. The #48 was really loose. When he was out there out front a few times I thought, 'Good god! That thing is loose' and I don't know if that was just the momentum that got the thing going where the #29 drove under him. I didn't see what actually started it. I did see the #48 get slow. When you put 43 race car drivers on a race track, and you say there is a 500-mile race, and the first one to do it the quickest wins a lot of money and a trophy, you're going to have wrecks.

"That's why we wreck-because we're competitive and when we try to do things we are competitive. And if we didn't care where we'd finish, there would never be a wreck. You know what I mean? If nobody cared how fast you went, there would never be a wreck. So, whose fault it is, I don't know. But I can assure you the wreck happened because there were two people trying to position themselves to win a race. And that's why the wreck happened."

(WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU FELT THIS GOOD ABOUT YOUR CHANCES IN THE DAYTONA 500?) "I don't know. I've seemed to have a lot of top 5's in these 125 qualifying races. I don't know why. I have a lot more top 5's in these than I do in the 500, I don't know why. So, I've gotten a little bit pessimistic about the results from 150s and 125s than what they mean on Sunday. I'm tickled to death at how good my car drives. I don't have to lift, I can run wide open every lap. I can run on the bottom, I can run on the middle, I can run on the top.

"That's going to be huge on Sunday. If this track gets worse and worse and worse as the week goes on, then it will be worse Sunday than it is today. And the setup that worked today won't work on Sunday. It won't handle good enough. I heard there were a lot of cars not handling well and ours was.

"That's all I cared about all winter long. I told them, 'give me a car that handles well and I can give us a chance to win the Daytona 500.' And they've given me that. I'm very optimistic. I know that it's 500 miles and a lot of things can happen. There are pit stops, cautions, there are all kinds of things that can happen. But I feel good about it. We've got to find a little bit of speed.

"We could be just a little faster than we were today. But I think that we've got that. I pulled the speed out of it a little bit yesterday and I think we can put that back in. Kevin Hamlin's got some great ideas and we're going to work really hard Friday and Saturday and I think we'll be in good shape."

KYLE BUSCH IN THE No. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET WAS THE TOP RAYBESTOS ROOKIE IN THE FIRST GATORADE 150. HE FINISHED NINTH AFTER LEADING THE RACE ONCE FOR ONE LAP. "It was decent. We had a good time out there. We were able to hook up with a few cars and we found that we could run with them. I think the 97 was the best car out there that would push us and we got up to the front. Jeff was helping as well, too, he just a little sideways through the trioval and fell back. Overall it was a decent run. We're happy with that finish. I think we had a shot to finish third or fourth."

(WAS THE TRACK SLICK?) "It was real slick. You could go out there after that pit stop, I think it was about 12 or 15 laps in, and you'd start sliding everywhere. It's pretty bad but everybody has got the same situation. I think ours was one of the top handling racecars because everybody would start sliding up to the top of the racetrack and running up there where I could still stay on the bottom and hug the bottom and pass some cars through the corners. Sometimes I wouldn't be able to fall back in line coming up off. They kind of had the line plugged but overall the car handled decent."

(IT SEEMED LIKE THE INTENSITY LEVEL PICKED UP OVER THE LAST 20 LAPS) "That's always how it is in the 125s or the 150s. Even back when they were the 125s you just ride around in the beginning of it and kind of put yourself in position to where when 20 laps come down it's game on, dude. It's all over from there."

(WERE YOU SURPRISED HOW PHYSICAL THE RACE WAS TODAY?) "Not really. It was a really good race. The Busch races are a lot worse because you have the wickers and you're beating and banging and the draft and the slingshot comes in real bad. We had a good time. Bumping around and hanging out with these guys was pretty fun. Hopefully I taught a few of them that I'm able to go out there and ride and we're able to show those guys that we are a car to work with on Sunday."

(DID YOU HAVE TROUBLE GETTING PEOPLE TO DRAFT WITH YOU?) "I did. I knew I would. I had an issue not knowing how many laps to go there coming down to the finish. Kurt was stuck up on the outside by himself and then Jeff had a head of steam coming and I think that was with two to go and Jeff pulled out from behind me to go on the outside with Kurt. If I would have known there was two to go I would have done the same thing because it's go time. You can't ride anymore but I didn't know."

(DID TWO TIRES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE, HANDLING-WISE? "A little bit. If you put on four tires and go out there it takes about 15 laps for them to start falling off. With two tires it starts in about 10 laps. I think we went about 10 laps on those stickers and then we came in got our right sides so we had only 10-lap old lefts. If we had 30 lap old lefts, it would be a different story."

(WHAT'S THE MAIN THING THAT YOU LEARNED TODAY THAT WILL HELP YOU ON SUNDAY IN THE 500?) "Basically I have all the knowledge that I've known from the Busch Series stuff. I didn't really learn anything exceptional today. You're just trying to learn about how everybody's car works.

"The race that we had today with all the guys that we had I learned their cars and what their cars do and stuff like that. You're familiar with that when you get back going on Sunday. I couldn't tell you whose car did what exactly, but you get familiar back with the rhythm when you get going again."

ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, No. 5 KELLOGG'S CHEVROLET: "I did learn a lot. We knew we had a good car. We just wanted to get up there and see how good of a car we had. It seemed like we could work on the bottom real well and some other guys may have been struggling with handling and were running on the top and we really couldn't get help. I wanted to get up there with the good cars that could run the bottom and run with us and see what we had. We got up there with Jeff and he gave us a big push to the front and then Kurt gave us a big push to the front.

"I think if Jeff wouldn't have got loose maybe the outcome would have been a little different. You can't say enough about the Jeff Gordons of the world. He's a super racecar driver and a super person and just running up there with those guys is good."

(WILL WE SEE A LOT OF TWO TIRE STOPS HERE SUNDAY?) "I don't think you will; maybe coming down to the end just for that track position. It didn't work out bad for us. It wasn't a bad situation. We washed about the same, we probably would have finished the same either way, with four or two, but it gave us that shot to win. I think when you come down to the end you may see some of that. Somebody may take that shot to win the race." WERE YOU HAPPY WITH THE TIRE WEAR AND TEMPERATURES? "The tires were good. We had that one problem yesterday in practice with a tire rub that cut our tire down. Some people thought we had tire wear issues but it was just a tire rub. Goodyear tires have been great for us. We've had no issues at all. It was good."


(IT MUST FEEL GREAT TO MAKE THE DAYTONA 500) "Yeah, it was pretty crazy out there. We had a really good hot rod. The tape blew up off the grille on us. And we ended up having to free our car up because we lost grip. It was really out of control at the end. But, I've got to thank Scott (Riggs) in the #10 car for getting a push really good. I can't wait for Sunday

(DESCRIBE THE TWO-CAR BUMP DRAFTING GOING ON OUT THERE) "It all depends on where you at, who is behind you and who is pushing you and how hard they are pushing you out of the corner. My car was really awesome in the beginning. It surprised the heck out of me. We ran to the front there and then the tape blew off and we got really tight. We could never get the tape back on during the pit stop. So, I'm really excited for the 500 on Sunday."


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Kevin Hamlin